Nestlé, a member of the International Cocoa Initiative, has launched its Income Accelerator Program, aiming to tackle child labour, increase household incomes and achieve full traceability in its cocoa supply chain.

The Income Accelerator Program will reward farming households with cash incentives conditional on a number of different practices, including school enrolment of children aged 6 – 16, the implementation of good agricultural practices such as pruning which increase crop productivity, use of agroforestry techniques such as planting shade trees, and activities to diversify family income. Households receive a cash incentive for each of these activities (which are not tied to the quantity of cocoa produced) with a bonus if implementing all four. This enables them to earn an additional 500 CHF (around 316,000 XOF and 3,370 GHS at today’s exchange rate) in the first year – equivalent to around a quarter of an average farming household’s income. To improve gender equality in cocoa-growing communities, half the payments will go to the registered farmer, and half to their spouse. In addition, the program will provide Village Savings and Loans Associations, helping women to save and borrow, as well as gender training for couples.

At ICI, we are pleased to see Nestlé launch this holistic program that aims to improve the income of farming households and reduce child labour, in addition to the commitment of full traceability that accompanies it. The different components are built on evidence and learning from previous programs, studies and research. We look forward to continuing our work with Nestlé as they launch this program in 2022 starting with 10,000 cocoa farming families in Côte d’Ivoire. Further expansion is planned in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to reach 160,000 farming families and cover Nestlé’s full cocoa supply chain by 2030.

The rollout of the program is also being supported by KIT Royal Tropical Institute, ICI, IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative and Rainforest Alliance.

Read more about the program here.